Saturday, 13 June 2015

A New Normal

Magic Tricks at Sam's birthday party
It has now been nearly two weeks since we felt a significant aftershock (ok, I wrote that first line two nights ago and later that evening we had a significant aftershock, but it’s the only one in 2 weeks we’ve felt). School is now back into more of a rhythm as we build towards the end of the school year in less than 2 weeks. Many of the walls that fell down in our local area are being rebuilt, especially those around the wealthy houses. Houses that were badly damaged are coming down. Our local corner shop where all the shelves fell over and all the produce was scattered all over the shop floor has had a coat of paint and new shelves put in and now looks better than it did before. We even had a normal birthday party for Sam who turned 6 ten
days ago.

The Kathmandu schools have reopened and the streets are filled with school buses in the mornings pumping out their fumes and causing us to skirt between them as we ride our bikes to school. Close to a million people left Kathmandu in the immediate aftermath and it seems like many of these are back now as the streets are filled with more traffic and rush hour has returned.

Our landlord and his family who spent a couple of weeks sleeping outside have been back inside for a few weeks, the tent even came down this weekend, but the bamboo frame has been left, just in case. There are still a couple of families sleeping on the KISC basketball court because they cannot go back to their homes. However, it seems all those who can are now back indoors.

Travel further afield and the damage is still very evident as many houses remain as piles of rubble. Parks and recreation grounds remain lined with tents covered in Chinese writing. Our Nepali colleagues who lost homes are starting work on rebuilding, although with so many trying to do this getting materials and approvals through the local council offices is taking time.

KISC v Nepal
Our roles don’t directly relate to the aid work, but we hear stories of those who are involved and are trying to plan how to rebuild and support communities in the long term. One worry is that there isn’t enough money to do it well. From within Nepal it appears that this earthquake hasn’t struck the worlds heart in the way Haiti did and so aid may fall short of what’s needed, especially in the medium to long term.

The National Nepal Basketball team have even tried to get back to normal. This week they played a game against a KISC invitation team which was mostly students and a few adults. The KISC team really shone and showed their domination of the game at school/college level even extends to the national team and won 85-80. There is a new kind of normal.

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